Monday was the first day Space Camp in Manchester. The two-week camp for kids aged 5-12 blends art, science and imagination, and is a collaboration of the Southern Vermont Arts Center and the Manchester Rec Center.

On day one, campers learned how to make sundials. Andrea Myklebust, a Space Camp instructor, explained that the ancient technology uses the sun to tell time.

“One of the things that makes a sundial work is understanding your latitude, so understanding where you are on planet Earth.” she said.

Myklebust has had a passion for space her entire life. “I am an artist by trade, but I loved space when I was a little kid,” Myklebust said. “I dreamed of being an astronaut”

Even though she dreamed of being an astronaut, now the kids at the camp might have a shot.

“That is something that the kids will be doing over at the rec center, where there is a swimming pool,” Myklebust said. “Just like real astronauts do, kids can practice how you would work and live in zero gravity in a swimming pool.”

The 35 children will learn about neighboring planets and distant galaxies. They will also create space shelters, and go on space scavenger hunts.

“They are eager to jump in and both think about some of the serious things like how far planets are away from the sun, but also to imagine what a person from another planet might look like,” Myklebust said. 

Myklebust believes space is a great topic to engage children in their imagination.

“Because we can talk about planets that we will never be able to see with our own eyes and imagine that the universe is just so vast,” Myklebust said. 

During the second week of camp, children will build rockets.